• Craig and the Kalam (and relativity): Vincent Torley vs Counter Apologist… CA wins.

    So in my post, the Part 2 of why Vincent Torley is a Christian, Vincent called into question some of Counter Apologist’s work undermining William Lane Craig’s use of science and metaphysics to try to show that the A-Theory of time is true or that the B-Theory is false.

    Craig’s case is this:

    He needs time to be absolute, and not relative as science appears to predict and lead to. This means that there must be something called a privileged reference frame (or similar wording) that everything in the universe refers to. However, science appears to prefer relativity such that time is relative depending on the reference point. If twins live on earth and one twin flies off at near the speed of light and returns sometime later, the two clocks that the twins own and keep on them will show different times. There is no overarching time which dictates both paradigms, but individual and relative times for want of a better explanation.

    Now remember, Craig appeals to science and scientists who agree with him about an absolute beginning to the universe such that he lauds such science as supporting theology.

    Craig needs absolute time for the Kalam to work (I won’t explain this now; check out CA’s excellent videos and posts). But since science does not support this, and appears to support a B-Theory of time, Craig appeals to something called Neo-Lorentzian (NLR) relativity as establishing an absolute time frame. However, NLR is not supported by any scientific data, and nor can it be. It is an unfalsifiable approach. It is supported by an A-Theory of time understanding. And Craig posits an A-Theory of time based on what? Well, according to the closer to truth videos, Craig adheres to the A-Theory of time because it fits better with the existence of God.

    HANG ON!!! He uses the Kalam to argue to God, but one of his premises in the Kalam requires a prior commitment to God to establish a major building brick which then allows him to posit an unfalsifiable (unscientific and metaphysical) theory which allows him to posit a premise supposedly based on science!

    Wow, that is circular and fallacious!. So, you see, WLC runs into some serious problems. Here is how CA concludes:

    What William Lane Craig really wants is for the A-Theory of time to be true (ie. that space and time are absolute), and he wants the evidence we have against that view to be shown to be problematic.  Right now the evidence we have from Special Relativity shows that space and time are relative, not absolute.

    To get around this problem Craig endorses the Neo-Lorentzian view, the ultimate punt into metaphysics which states that the question of space and time being relative or absolute is something that in principle can’t be answered by science.

    However, Craig would be equally happy to have SME turn out to be true, so that his Neo-Lorentzian view becomes unnecessary.  Incidentally, this is exactly the same kind of excitement he showed when it looked like relativity may have been over turned by undermining the other assumption – that nothing travels faster than the speed of light.  Unfortunately for Craig both efforts to undermine relativity have come up short, so all he can do is make extravagant unfalsifiable assumptions about relativity to try and keep the A-Theory of time as a live option.

    The problem of course, is that so far Einstein and the Standard Model have held up, so Craig is left appealing to his unfalsifiable privileged frame to try and pretend the Kalam is a live option in anything but the minds of people who already commit to god’s existence, or an esoteric philosophy of time.

    Category: cosmologyPhilosophy of ReligionSciencetime


    Article by: Jonathan MS Pearce